Everyone around the world...
...seems to know the legend surrounding the cloudy history of the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana. I think I won't need to delve into that mystery, since it's become such a well known story, but I would love to share some of the overlooked parts of the Myrtles that truly make it beautiful.
Recently, during the Easter holiday, we stayed in the General Bradford Suite. I wanted to get photos of the property without tourists around, so I set my alarm to make sure I wouldn't miss the sunrise. I even jumped at the chance to go on a solo tour- the first tour of the day, because no one else was around to join. I felt a "push" to ask all morning about taking pictures of inside. I'm glad I did, because you'll see why soon. Perhaps I'll share my ghostly experience...
Growing up, I heard so much about the plantation in my Louisiana history classes, that I grew a crush on this place. I know you're thinking "How can you have a crush on a place?" If I'm being honest, then I'll have to admit Myrtles is beautiful and mysterious, so I'm drawn to the energy. To be clear, I am not romanticizing or vindicating the history. I also am not wanting to be malicious in any way, by speaking the truth. It's just that, one thing has always bothered me: the legend of Chloe or Cleo. A slave that has been villainized, while the people who took advantage of her are somehow victimized.
The truth is, Chloe never existed. Clark and Sara Woodruff had three children, not 2. Sarah died of yellow fever, followed in death by her son and one of her daughters. The surviving child, Octavia, grew up and spent her life at the Oaklawn Plantation in Franklin, Louisiana. I won't go too deep in history to explain every point, because it is okay to believe what you want to believe. I just wanted to point out that a slave didn't kill two little girls.
Our minds can play tricks on us and cause us to see what we've been wanting to, which is why I think so many have claimed they've been visited by the ghosts of this story.
I really wanted to use images to tell a story. I always look for the forgotten or the spaces in between, because without those things, you would never have a story to begin with. I won't go into detail right now about my sensitivity to the paranormal; that would take a few other posts and some wine. I will tell you that the Myrtles is haunted, but not by who you expect. When I explained to my mom what happened here, she told me that I'd ruin the fun for everyone if I spoke about my research, so I don't want to ruin the fun for anyone. I love visiting, so I definitely want to be welcomed back. Only one murder ever occurred here and he did not die inside of the home, "on the 17th step". William Winters died where he was shot standing; on his porch.
There is a room in the house filled with so much energy, that on our night tour, I felt dizzy walking through the door. I should know better, but I looked up to my left and then to my right, only to find two giant mirrors above fireplace mantles facing each other. Not only that, but there is a sliding door in between these two large rooms. According to superstition, you should never place mirrors in front of each other or directly in front of a door. The Myrtles has done all three of these things, which of course keeps it "haunted". The tour guide mentioned that mediums and psychics call the area in the room a vortex, which they like to claim was created by Fannie Mae Williams and all of her seances during her time as an owner of the home. I wouldn't disagree....
During the night, I had odd dreams and a moment of sleep paralysis. I knew it was happening and couldn't avoid it...I was stuck. I almost felt as if I lifted out of my body to avoid being stuck, but I don't remember how I fell back to sleep. In one of my dreams, I was sitting up in the bed with my boyfriend, and saw a shadowy kid size figure run in circles around the room. It ran through the bed and back around again. Upon waking up, my boyfriend recounted his dream of being in the same room with me. Our versions, stitched together, kind of freaked us out a little.
It wasn't until a few days later that I noticed during editing, a figure shifting in one of the front windows. I messed with the temperature, the contrast, and brightness trying to be sure of what I was seeing. None of the other pictures before or after, in the same area show the figure in the window.
As for the picture I told you to remember? That is the room that exact window belongs to, and there is nothing furniture wise that could have caused it. I was up early, so the photos you see were taken between 7 am and 8 am, no tourists or tours and no workers. I am very scientific, albeit spiritual, so I plan to visit early in the morning again soon to see if this is recreated somehow or shows up in another window.
I would like to leave it up to those who visit the Myrtles on what they believe. Whether you're a skeptic or not, my goal isn't to defame anyone or push my beliefs or opinions onto you. Do what you shall, with what you've experienced or what you know.